SERVE IT UP: Tim Smith and Tod Stapleton form part of competitive barbecuing team Grilling In The Name Of.
SERVE IT UP: Tim Smith and Tod Stapleton form part of competitive barbecuing team Grilling In The Name Of. Lachlan McIvor

Team aims to be best of best in competitive barbecuing

COMPETITIVE barbecuing is a world away from turning a few sausages on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a beer in hand.

Gatton's Tim Smith and Tod Stapleton started their team, Grilling In The Name Of, in 2016 from a shared passion of cooking on the grill.

While it began as a bit of fun, they have become hooked on how far they can push the best competitors in the country.

The pair recruited three mates - Josh Zuino from Brisbane, Peter Harvey of Sydney and Bundaberg's Steven Obst - and take part in events sanctioned by the Australasian Barbecue Alliance, which holds competitions in Australia and New Zealand.

Cooking can begin at midnight and different meats - whether it be chicken, lamb, beef, brisket or pork ribs - need to be handed in five minutes either side of each proceeding hour during the following day, where judges have a single bite to assess and score their finished product.

"It's all pretty calm until probably about 5-10 minutes before the hand-in, then it's chaos throughout the whole next four to five hours," MrStapleton laughed.

Competing against chefs and butchers, they are more than holding their own for a unit made up of a pool builder, a physiotherapist, a manager of a pest management company, a care worker and communications specialist.

"The gist of it is a couple of old netball dads liked to cook barbecue and have turned into freaks (about it)," Mr Smith chuckled.

Last weekend they took home Reserve Grand Champion at the Hervey Bay BBQ Festival, which served as one of three events across the country to kick off the new year, and got first for their chicken and lamb.

Mr Smith put the achievement up there with their showing at the Port Macquarie event in 2017, considered the unofficial Australian championship, where they came 15th overall out of 102 of the top teams from throughout the country.

"We do take it seriously - but we have a lot of fun taking it seriously," MrSmith said.

"The food that we cook and hand out to the judges is fairly different to what we serve up to our family and friends.

"The judges get one bite to judge our food, so we're trying to pack as much flavour and intensity into that one bite as possible, so we cook very rich, over-the-top flavoured food.

"When you're tired, had zero sleep for nearly 48hours, a few beers under the belt and hearing your name called up in front of the crowd - especially at Port Macquarie where there was dead set thousands of people - it is an absolute rush."

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